Free agent outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, fresh off winning the World Series with the Boston Red Sox, reached agreement with the New York Yankees on a seven-year contract worth about $153 million, a person familiar with the negotiations said Tuesday.
Ellsbury is the second major free-agent addition in the Yankees’ offseason rebuilding after missing the playoffs for just the second time in 19 years. The center fielder was to take a physical in New York on Wednesday.
Earlier Tuesday, New York finalized an $85 million, five-year contract with catcher Brian McCann.
Ellsbury, who turned 30 in September, led the majors with 52 stolen bases despite being hobbled late in the season by a broken right foot. The lefty-hitting leadoff man batted .298 with nine homers and 53 RBI, and the short right-field porch at Yankee Stadium should boost his power numbers.
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Ellsbury, who played college ball at Oregon State, won a pair of World Series titles with the Red Sox and was an All-Star in 2011, when he finished second to Detroit’s Justin Verlander in AL MVP voting.
Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane is busy dealing in December once again. First, the A’s acquired AL saves leader Jim Johnson from Baltimore late Monday as the replacement for All-Star closer Grant Balfour.
On Tuesday, the two-time defending division champions traded for San Diego right-handed reliever Luke Gregerson in a swap that sent outfielder Seth Smith to the Padres. That move became a viable option after outfielder Craig Gentry was acquired from Texas earlier Tuesday, with top outfield prospect Michael Choice going to the division-rival Rangers.
Oakland also is waiting on lefty Scott Kazmir’s physical to finalize a $22 million, two-year contract.
TWINS SHORING UP PITCHING ROTATION
Right-hander Ricky Nolasco signed a four-year, $48 million contract with the Twins — the richest deal ever for Minnesota in free agency.
Minnesota’s starting pitchers combined to finish last in baseball with a 5.26 ERA. Nolasco arrives knowing he’ll be matched up with the aces of the American League Central, including Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers, Chris Sale of the Chicago White Sox and James Shields, the No. 1 starter in Kansas City.
Kevin Correia and Samuel Deduno are the only two sure starters for the Twins, who are also adding right-hander Phil Hughes, a free agent who spent his seven-year career with the New York Yankees. The Twins reportedly finalized a three-year, $24 million deal with Hughes, 27, on Tuesday.
Free-agent catcher A.J. Pierzynski has agreed to a one-year contract with the Red Sox, according to reports. Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia has agreed to a $21 million, three-year deal with the Marlins. Dexter Fowler and a player to be named were traded from the Rockies to the Astros for outfielder Brandon Barnes and right-hander Jordan Lyles. Tony Clark is the first former major leaguer to become head of the baseball players union. The executive board of the Major League Baseball Players Association voted unanimously Tuesday to appoint Clark to replace Michael Weiner, who died Nov. 22 of brain cancer. The Tampa Bay Rays acquired reliever Heath Bell and catcher Ryan Hanigan on Tuesday as part of a three-team trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Cincinnati Reds. The Philadelphia Phillies traded catcher Erik Kratz and left-hander Rob Rasmussen to the Toronto Blue Jays for righty Brad Lincoln.